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Grand Prix Leipzig 05 - Day 1 Blog Archive

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  • Saturday, March 26. - 7:44 pm: Day 1 Undefeated Decklists
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 7:23 pm: Roadwarrior Jasper Blaas from the Netherlands
    by Frank Waremann
  • Saturday, March 26. - 6:59 pm: Feature Match Round 9: Julien Nuijten vs. Rogier Maaten
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 6:33 pm: Feature Match Round 8: Christian Hubacsek vs. Raphael Levy
    by Frank Wareman
  • Saturday, March 26. - 5:41 pm: Carnage in the Green Room
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 5:29 pm: Confusion in the Blue Room
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 4:57 pm: Feature Match Round 7: Martin Baumert vs. Thomas Preyer
    by Frank Wareman
  • Saturday, March 26. - 4:40 pm: Feature Match Round 7: Falko Sacher vs. Rogier Maaten
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 3:36 pm: Burnt by Candles
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 3:09 pm: Feature Match Round 6: Moritz Muehle vs. Olivier Ruel
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 2:49 pm: Feature Match Round 4: Marius Mensch vs. Julien Nuijten
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 1:36 pm: Ways to Beat Jitte #1
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 1:11 pm: Magic: The Puzzling
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 12:21 pm: Dragons for World Champions
    by Craig Jones
  • Saturday, March 26. - 11:15 am: Green Room, Blue Room
    by Craig Jones



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  • Saturday, March 26: 11:15 am - Green Room, Blue Room


  • Limited Grand Prix in Europe have tended to have monster turnouts. The logistics of handling a tournament of over a thousand players is a difficult task. At the record-breaking GP Paris last year the first day was split into two days to try and make the tournament for manageable. Although the turnout today was not as high as anticipated, probably because it's Easter weekend, it was decided to go with the same plan.

    The Green Room.

    So for day one we have two separate tournaments in two separate halls, with two head judges and two scorekeepers. The halls are designated Green room and Blue room depending on the color of the tablecloths and to avoid confusion player pairings and standings are printed on either blue or green paper. In the Green room Jesper Nielsen wears the red and black shirt while in the Blue room Gijs Hoogendijk has the honours.

    So which room would you rather be in? If you got the Green room then you're going to have to battle through a strong Dutch contingent consisting of a former and the current World Champion, Tom van de Logt and Julien Nuijten, as well as GP wrecking ball Jelger Wiegersma. Head off into the other room and you have Kai Budde standing squarely in your way.

    The downside to all this is that I'm going to be spending most of the day running back and forth between the rooms.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 12:21 pm - Dragons for World Champions


  • One of the downsides of covering Grand Prix for Sideboard in Europe is not everything is standard. In Germany they have different phone jacks amongst other things. So after a slight delay to get an internet connection sorted I had a walk round the two halls to see how deck construction was going.

    The answer is pretty good if you happen to be a former or current World Champion. Kai Budde hasn't had much to smile about recently, but he was happy with a card pool that allowed him to build a useful blue-white deck that included a blue dragon. I walked past 2001 World Champion Tom van de Logt and saw a strong looking red-black deck with a red dragon squatting at the top of the mana curve. Current World Champion Julien Nuijten got the black dragon to go with Nagao in a very scary black-white deck.

    Not everyone was so lucky. Olivier Ruel bolstered a green-black curve with the bombtastic…erm…Moonring Mirror. Jelger Wiegermsma barely even had a deck.

     
  • Saturday, March 26: 1:11 pm - Magic: The Puzzling


  • Okay. There's five minutes left on the clock and this is your board position. C'mon, make your play. It can't be that difficult to work out...


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 1:36 pm - Ways to beat Jitte #1


  • Olivier Ruel brought me this gem. A friend of his had Jitte in hand and summoned Iwamora of the Open Fist. His opponent dropped Kuro, Pit lord and had enough swamps to pay the upkeep and enough life to prevent a creature ever staying on the table. Jitte does not win if you have no creatures to put it on.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 2:49 pm - Feature Match Round 4: Marius Mensch vs. Julien Nuijten


  • It's round four and time for all the big names to come in. Unfortunately, most of them decided to stay at home this weekend. I picked Julien Nuijten as his black-white deck is ridiculous and I fancied seeing a bloodbath. His opponent, Marius Mensch, is a Grand Prix trial winner and also had three byes.

    Julien Nuijten.

    Mensch started out aggressively with a Takenuma Bleeder. Nuijten, recovering from a mulligan, came back with an ogre of his own: Ogre Marauder. Mensch summoned a Glasskite on turn four only for Nuijten to say "No, no blue." Mensch had played the wrong land and had to pass the turn with no play.

    The next turn he didn't get a chance to play it either as he used Indomitable Will to save his ogre from Terashi's Verdict. A Kitsune Blademaster wasn't a bad alternate play either.

    Both players traded ogre beats for a while before Nuijten dropped Kokusho and smashed through with Dance of Shadows.

    Nuijten 1-0 Mensch

    Mensch opened Game 2 again with a Takenuma Bleeder. In a carbon copy from the first game Nuijten tried to kill it with Terashi's Verdict only for Mensch to have an Indomitable Will handy.

    On his 4th turn Nuijten dropped Nagao, Bound by Honor. Hey, I told you his deck is ridiculous. I think there's even a Graverobber in there as well somewhere. Nagao looked under a little pressure this game though as Mensch added a second Bleeder. Nuijten kept the samurai on defence and brought out a Marauder.

    Nuijten attacked with both Bleeders and finally Nuijten had to pause to think. He put both Nagao and the Marauder in the way of the unenchanted Bleeder. Both ogres went to the graveyard and Mensch summoned a Kitsune Blademaster. Nuijten hit six mana. Was it dragon time?

    Nope, a Graverobber and mana to flip it.

    This was a crucial turn for Mensch. He needed to overload the Dutchman before he could really start to abuse his recently flipped Nighteyes. A Hundred-Talon Strike felt powerful as the Blademaster took down Nagao. Unfortunately he couldn't follow it up with another creature.

    The board was still strong for the German trial winner. He had the enchanted Bleeder and Blademaster to Nuijten's active Nighteyes. More importantly the World Champion was down to only 4 life.

    Nuijten fetched back Nagao and blocked the 4/5 Bleeder with both Nagao and Nighteyes only to see yet another Hundred-Talon Strike. A Devouring Greed made the block irrelevant in any case.

    Nuijten 1-1 Mensch.

    The Dutchman looked rocky in the third game as he had to mulligan twice and then failed to drop land number three. He still had game, using Terashi's Verdict to bring down Kami of Ancient Law and then summoning Graverobber.

    Mensch replenished his forces with a Shimmering Glasskite. Nuijten finally hit land number three and was able to summon A Takenuma Bleeder. When Mensch failed to follow the Glasskite with a threat suddenly a way back into the game was available to the Dutchman as he flipped the Graverobber.

    A Blademaster looked like it might slow down Nuijten's attack. A Moonlight Strider allowed him to break through and put Mensch firmly on the defensive. The next turn saw a battle in the red zone as Mensch had to block. Nighteyes won out in its battle against the Glasskite with the help of Hundred-Talon Strike while Rend Flesh out-trumped the Strider to leave the Bleeder dead and Mensch's Blademaster still standing.

    Now it was Mensch's turn to pull back into the game from a meager position of only 6 life as he summoned a Kami of Lunacy and followed it with Villanous Ogre and Bile Urchin. Nuijten had only a Ashen Zubera, although Nighteyes was active with enough mana to reanimate any dead monster Nuijten wanted. He fetched back the Strider to try and bust Nighteyes through the Blademaster and a seemingly insignificant Bile Urchin. Indomitable Will on the Urchin finally sent Nighteyes to the graveyard. He reanimated a Shimmering Glasskite on the way out. Nuijten was hoping this would deal with the flying 4/1. Hundred-Talon Strike stopped that plan.

    Marius Mensch.

    The game was shaping up into a real seesaw as Nuijten came back with Nagao and Opal Eye. The Dutchman dropped to 1 with a hit from the flying Kami and then dropped his opponent to 1 life also with a hit from Nagao. It was getting real tight.

    A white Honden took Mensch back up to 3, but more importantly Nuijten found a Gibbering Kami to stave off the Kami of Lunacy.

    A tense ceasefire was reached as both armies stared at each other across the red zone.

    The Honden took Mensch up to 7 as time was called on the round. He needed to do only one point of damage to take out the World Champion. If only he could find Devouring Greed.

    The tense stand off continued through extra turns with neither player committing to an attack. Nuijten signified he couldn't break the deadlock as he passed turn four. One more turn for the German trial winner. Could he snatch the match?

    Yes he could! Arriving from the top of his library at the very last moment was that crucial Devouring Greed!

    Marius Mensch beats Julien Nuijten 2-1


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 3:09 pm - Feature Match Round 6: Moritz Muehle vs. Olivier Ruel


  • As most of the big players stayed away this weekend feature matches have been hard to call. Olivier Ruel is a well known French player and only representative from the Ruel family as Antoine is "out partying". In contrast Moritz Muehle is playing in his first Grand Prix and had zero byes.

    Olivier Ruel.

    "You mean you have an actual real 4-1 deck", Olivier said.

    Ruel led off with a mulligan and then passed the first three turns laying only land as his opponent battered him with Cohort and Blademane Baku. Orochi Sustainer and then Order of the Sacred Bell kept the Cohort going while Ruel attempted to apply brakes with Loam Dweller and Bleeder.

    Muehle crashed in and Ruel traded both his guys for the Order and Blademane. Then Muehle seemed to run out of gas. A Traproot Kami appeared when he wanted something with offence. Ruel pulled back with a second Bleeder, Thief of Hope and then a Moss Kami. Muehle dropped a Forked Branch Garami as the game dropped to a stall.

    It didn't last too long as Muehle sent in his men on the following turn. Ruel blocked two of them and Muehler tapped five and cast Final Judgment on the other. Nope sorry, wrong card, it was the other card in his hand, Strength of Cedars. Ruel picked up his cards having been flashed a piece of information he'd rather not know.

    Muehle 1-0 Ruel

    Ruel got a better curve going this game a turn two Loam Dweller was followed by Matsu-Tribe Decoy. Muehle summoned a turn two Split-Tail and then needlessly threw it away to the Decoy when he tapped out for a Shinka Gatekeeper. A Befoul on an Indebted Samurai kept the initiative with Ruel.

    Moritz Muehle.

    Ruel's deck made his "powerful" rare Moonring Mirror and then Springcaller. Muehle's cards were looking far more powerful: Waxman Baku, Samurai of the Pale Curtain and then the mighty Konda himself.

    The amateur was looking in good shape. The board was stalled and Konda was bashing away for three a turn.

    When Myojin of Cleansing Fire appeared Ruel could only bang his head against the table before offering his hand.

    Moonring Mirror 0 - 2 Konda, Myojin of Cleansing Fire, Final Judgment


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 3:36 pm - Burnt by Candles


  • Glowing Candles. Nice fuzzy warm feeling. What could ever go wrong besides setting fire to the drapes and burning Aunt Mabel to a blackened piece of charcoal bwahahaha!

    Continuing in my quest to maliciously mention bad plays wherever my spies find them here is a slight misunderstanding between damage and life loss. In the fourth extra turn a player wanted to gain life to give him an extra margin of safety but was worried his opponent might draw a counterspell. So he tapped five mana and then tried to use Candles' Glow to prevent the mana burn and gain three life. Unfortunately mana burn is life loss so the Candle's glow cannot prevent it. As a result of the mana burn he lost in the fifth extra turn. Ooops.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 4:40 pm - Feature Match Round 7: Falko Sacher vs. Rogier Maaten


  • Knowing you're playing against a player with zero byes at a limited Grand Prix can be a double-edged sword for any pro player. On the one hand you know your opponent is likely to be inexperienced, but on the other you know their deck must be pretty special. Former Dutch national champion and finalist at last months Grand Prix Rogier Maaten found himself in exactly this situation when he faced off against Falko Sacher with a bona-fida none-of-this-byes rubbish 6-0 deck.

    Falko Sacher.

    The action didn't get going until turn 3 when Maaten summoned a Pain Kami. Sacher matched with a Gnarled Mass and both spirits headed to the graveyard the following attack phase.

    Sacher followed with Burr Grafter and then Kabuto Moth while Maaten was doing a passable impression of a mono-red deck.

    Hanaba Blast went after the Moth only for Burr Grafter to take the bullet. The Blast returned a final time to try and take down the moth.

    Maaten was still stuck on mountains while Sacher added a mountain to go with his forests, islands and plains.

    Maaten started busting out the fat, Earthshaker and then Ashen Monstrocity, while Sacher set up for the long game with the blue Honden.

    Successive blocks took down the fatties as gas kept flowing from the Honden. Sacher showed one of the reasons why his deck was 6-0 as the first broken rare, Meloku, made an appearance.

    Maaten's Hired Muscle and Gibbering Kami didn't quite look in the same league. The Dutchman could fetch back Ashen Monstrosity with a Soulless Revival and flip Hired Muscle. The fear effect might have been enough to steal the game … if Sacher hadn't summoned a Teardrop Kami. The kami duly sac'ed itself to tap the Monstrosity and that bought enough time for Meloku and his minions to finish the job.

    Sacher 1-0 Maaten

    Desperate times call for drastic changes and Maaten called over a judge to fetch him eight basic lands to sideboard his deck into a brand new configuration.

    The swamps had stayed away last game so Maaten brought in forests to replace them. This didn't seem to improve things as he didn't make a play until a Lifespinner on turn four. Meanwhile Sacher had a seemingly perfect draw with a full curve of Humble Budoka, Kabuto Moth and Mothrider Samurai and four different basic lands on the table. The creatures kept coming as Gnarled Mass, Sightbender and Mirror-Guard entered play.

    Maaten's plan was simple, bury his opponent between an avalanche of fatties. Frost Ogre was followed by Kami of Fire's Roar and then they all went into the red zone on the heels of an Ashen Monstrosity.

    Sacher came out reasonably well with a Lifespinner and Kami of Fire's Roar going to the graveyard at the cost of one Humble Budoka and a bruising 12 points of damage. Sacher struck back for nine to leave Maaten at 5, leaving only a Moth on defence but leaving all his mana open.

    Rogier Maaten.

    Sacher was on 8 life. It did not look favourable for the Dutch champion and got even worse when Toils of Night and Day meant he couldn't even attack this turn. Maaten killed the Mirror-Guard with a Yamibusha's Storm but still had the difficult task of holding off 7 points of damage. Torrent of Stone on the Gnarled Mass dropped that to a less than lethal 4 points.

    Maaten was hardly out of the woods as another attack from the Mothrider dropped him to 3 life. A Moss Kami compounded his problems. He attacked with the Ashen Monstrosity. Sacher chumped with the Sightbender and attacked back for the match.

    Falko Sacher beat Rogier Maaten 2-0


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 4:57 pm - Feature Match Round 7: Martin Baumert vs. Thomas Preyer


  • Martin Baumert is a German player. He plays a three color deck red blue, adding a touch of black. His deck is built around some nice flyers backed up with some good splice's. Thomas is an Austrian player who has gone 2nd on PT London in 99. He has a green black aggressive deck with a bunch removal.

    Thomas begins the first game. Nezumi Ronin starts the damage for Thomas. His team grows to the Ronin with a Rootrunner and Orochi Ranger. With a Sosuke, Son of Seshiro and a Horobi's Whisper he can keep the pressure on. Martin recovers with a Jetting Glasskite and a River Kajin while down on seven. Thomas' second Horobi's Whisper takes down the Kajin, giving him some room to attack. Martin fixes his gap in the defense with his spliced Glacial Ray. The Jetting Glasskite manages to take down Thomas life to 8, when he uses his Glacial Ray to be countered and using a Pull Under to get rid of it. Martin answer is another flyer Tatsumasa, the Dragon Fang. With no cards in hand Thomas is not able to find any more answers.

    Martin 1 Thomas 0

    Martin is asked to start the second game and he starts off with a Soratami Rainshaper. Very useful against Thomas removal, but no good answer to his Genju of the Ceders. This eats 8 life off of Martin and after more green guys come and see play. A Sosuke, Son of Seshiro, Order of the Sacred Bell, Orbweaver Kumo and the Orochi Ranger make life difficult for Martin as he gets beaten to 3. The green team has more power than Martin can handle and he decides a third game will be best to solve matters.

    Martin 1 Thomas 1

    Game 3

    Again Martin is starting and for the first time a player needs to mulligan. Thomas goes down to 6. Martin starts off well with a Kajin of the Vanishing Touch and a Soratami Mirror Guard in offence. With help of his Horobi's Whisper Thomas gets rids of the wall to force a Rootrunner and Genju of the Ceders in. A spliced Soulless Revival and Glacial Ray takes the Wall back and next turn the Ray does two more to Thomas with a Waking Nightmare. Losing his Ray with no red in play due to the Waking Nightmare Thomas is facing the Soratami Mirror Guard on 6 life left with Martin on 10. Topdecking a Rend Flesh solves that problem and Thomas finds himself in a better position with his team still alive. The Ray is not finished and with getting down a Swallowing plague on Rootrunner, puts Thomas at 4. While the Swallowing Plague normally would do nothing after the Rootrunner is sacked to put a land on top, with help of the Glacial Ray on his opponent, Martin was still able to gain 3 life. Martin can't find an arcane to splice the Ray onto to get Thomas down from 4, and dies to the creatures.

    Martin 1 Thomas 2


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 5:29 pm - Confusion in the Blue Room


  • Day one of a Grand Prix is a long grueling event, punishing on both mind and spirit. Under these situations it is not surprising a Magic player can sometimes get confused, poor thing. Every round in the Green room scorekeeper Jason Howlett has had to deal with players approaching him and asking why they aren't on the pairings. And every time he has had to tell them they should be in the blue room. For the first couple of rounds this might be understandable (including the guy who was adamant he'd played round one in the green room despite having a bye) but by round 8 you'd think they would have got the hang of it. Witness this conversation:

    "I'm not on the list."

    "No, you're in the blue room."

    "No, I'm not."

    "But I played the last six rounds in this room."

    "No you didn't"

    Pause.

    "Oh. Yeah."

    Shame on you, Alex Mack.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 5:41 pm - Carnage in the Green Room


  • As you may have noticed glancing at the player list, Leipzig is a little short on quite a few of the big name European players you normally expect to see at these events. Players like Sam Gomersall, Gabriel Nassif and Anton Jonsson are not in attendance. You'd think this would make it easier for the remainder but this is not always the case, especially with Sealed Deck.

    There have been four feature matches in the Green Room between a recognized Pro player and an amateur, and in each case the amateur has won. The Green room is not nice to experienced players. The Green room does not like experienced players.

    Amateurs 4 - 0 Pro players.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 6:33 pm - Feature Match Round 8: Christian Hubacsek vs. Raphael Levy


  • Raphael lost only the first match to a younger kid. He tries to excuse himself by saying he was really sick but had to admit he was simple outplayed on that match. He hates his deck a bit, but it got him this far. He did better afterwards and is now 6-1 as is his opponent Christian. He had no byes so he had to do all the work today. Christian is known to be very lucky and has some nice creatures in his deck. His personal favourite is the Silverstorm Samurai in combination with a Patron of the Kitsune, giving him instant blocker and instant Patron.

    As the first game is starting Raphael laughs at his hand and goes to six. He keeps his six seeming very disappointed. Christian is beginning and starts with a Cruel Deceiver and a Takenuma Bleeder. Raphael misses a land drop but recovers with a Sakura-Tribe Elder, while on 12 life due. Christain plays a Honden of Cleansing Fire which gets a sigh of relief as it is not a creature and of frustration as Raphael won't be offensive for quite some time. A Blind with Anger tries to fix unfair distribution of creatures but Christian prevents this by destroying his own Hundred-Talon Kami leeving the Bleeder free to put Raphael on 6. The soulshift brings back a Pain Kami. Raphael can get some guys out to keep him from dying, but he is not really getting into this game as Christian has a large supply of guys. After Kami of Fire's Roar comes in Raphael is done for and we go to game 2.

    Christian 1 Raphael 0

    This time it's Christian turn on the mulligan, while he is asked to start the game. His 6 are better and we start off. The Cruel Deciever is a frequent visitor on turn 2. River Kajin, the turtle, is the excellent answer as Christian's guys are too scared. Christian is forced into defensive after playing his Honden of Cleansing Fire. A Wear Away takes this one down. Next in Christian's Arsanal is a Patron of the Kitsune, which also is good at giving away life. While trying to force hin Patron through with some removal, Christian sees his guy fall against Raphael's bunch of men. Raphael said later he was not really happy with his pile, consisting of some stupid men. This was showed by the board: the Orochi Eggwatcher was the most impacting guy he had laying around.

    Christian has the infinite arsenal which now comes in the form of a Nezumi Shortfang. A Nezumi Cutthroat later Raphael finds himself again in a nasty situation with all these guys. Now he has a real problem as he his still missing his mountain, which refuse to show up. He can use his red to abuse is Uyo, Silent Prophet a bit to get the numbers down on Christian's side. After a Mystic Restraints on the Nezumi Cutthroat Chris goes all in, forcing Raphael into some difficult blocks. He is down on 10 and still missing red mana to finally use the Uyo.

    This is not improving if the Uyo gets it by a Horobi's Whisper. The Uyo does take a Kami of the Honored Death with it, but still before any red spell could resolve. The Patron of the Kitsune in soulshifted back and hits play again. Raphael has nothing more than a Honden of the Seeing Winds while still building snake tokens. When he finally hits mountains with the help of the Honden and a Sire of the Storm, he is now faced against a Sokuzan Bruiser, which is not helping. Next attack he is down at 1, after using a Torrent of Fire on the Mountainwalker.

    With a Teller of Tales out next to the Sire, Raphael can deal with the creatures effectively. However still at 1 life, he now notices his deck is kind of running low on cards, while Christian is having no problems. Christian has managed to get his Kami of the Honored Death back. Still having the Nezumi Shortfang, but not really able to gain anything with it. By now Raphael is at one and Christian is at 29. He finally has enough in play to see an opening but with the time and 3 cards left it does not seem to be working out. Chris sees this coming and is sitting this one out. A "flower" gets a Wear Away back which makes Raphael last the 5 extra turns, while time is called. This however makes Christian go again and Raphael gives up, because he has no way out anymore.

    Christian 2 Raphael 0


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 6:59 pm - Feature Match Round 9: Julien Nuijten vs. Rogier Maaten


  • Originally I wasn't going to cover a match this round but this all-Dutch clash seemed too juicy to miss. Julien Nuijten finished second at this years Dutch Nationals and had to console himself with winning the World Championships instead. Rogier Maaten is a former Dutch national champion. Maaten has a solid black deck while Nuijten has a scary black-white deck with Nagao, Graverobber and Kokusho.

    Rogier Maaten.

    I should also apologize to all our German viewers out there. I will find German players to feature tomorrow I promise.

    Maaten went first and busted out Emberfist Zubera. After mulliganing Nuijten's turn two play was the scarier Nezumi Graverobber. Both players followed up with Takenuma Bleeders. The Ogres beat each other to death in the red zone and Maaten whacked the Graverobber with a Torrent of Stone before it could flip.

    The brokenness started to appear then as Nuijten summoned Nagao and Maaten dropped Toshiro Umezawa. A Moonlit Strider ensured Nagao would be tough to kill. Maaten's deck seemed loaded with removal though as a Pain Kami cam out to play.

    Nuijten bashed with Nagao anyway and then took to the skies with a Hundred-Talon Kami. It was looking a little tricky for Maaten as he passed the turn without playing anything.

    Nuijten flew over with just the Hundred-Talon Kami and let the Moonlit Strider take the bullet when the Pain Kami went after it. Nuijten added a Gibbering Kami to the attack. Maaten summoned a Thief of Hope but was now down to a precarious 5 life against Nuijten's fliers.

    It got worse when Maaten's attacking Toshiro was ambushed by a Silverstorm Samurai. He plonked an Earthshaker on the table but it wasn't enough as both his creatures could only chump block and delay the inevitable a turn.

    Nuijten 1-0 Maaten

    Nuijten mulliganed again for maybe the fifth time in the two feature matches of his I've covered. There were no turn two plays this time as Maaten led off with a Takenuma Bleeder. Nuijten went to kill it with Terashi's Verdict and was trumped with an Uncontrollable Anger.

    He made a Nezumi Ronin and tried to kill the 5/5 ogre with a Hundred-Talon Strike, grimacing as he did. Sure enough Maaten trumped him with a Torrent of Stone on the blocker.

    Nuijten tried double blocking the Bleeder next with his own Bleeder and a Graverobber. Hanabi Blast incinerated the Graverobber as Maaten trumped him again. With his board in ruins that was pretty much game.

    Sometimes your opponent just has all the answers.

    Nuijten 1-1 Maaten

    Nuijten zipped out of the blocks with Konda's Hashimoto and the ubiquitous Takenuma Bleeder. He skipped a fourth turn play as Maaten hit the brakes with a Pain Kami and a Houndmaster left on defence. Nuijten summoned a less than impressive Silent-Chant Zubera and left his guys at home.

    Julien Nuijten.

    Now Maaten could think about the initiative, even though his deck seemed to think it was a mono-red at the moment. This is often a bad for a limited deck. It is all very well to hero worship your idols but a bad plan to emulate them unless you have access to Jackal Pups, Grim Lavamancers and Fireblasts.

    Maaten's deck wised up and gave him the swamp he needed for his own Takenuma Bleeder. Nuijten's deck seemed to have dried up completely, but was not short of removal. Neither was Maaten's as he got a Hanabi Blast going. After a brutal exchange of removal spells the board was cleared of all creatures apart from Maaten's Pain Kami. From that point on Nuijten drew only land while Maaten found extra creatures. The World Champion tried to put up some resistance by ambushing with a Silverstorm Samurai only to see it buried under a Torrent of Stone.

    Rogier Maaten beats Julien Nuijten 2-1


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 7:23 pm - Roadwarrior Jasper Blaas from the Netherlands


  • So when I came here and arrived at the event I was surprised seeing Jasper here. I did not know he was coming and was not expecting him here. So I asked him how and why he came. Some story that turned out to be, so here it is.

    Jasper was still working Friday and because of Easter, he had a drink after work with some colleagues. He works at Heineken, the beer brewer in Zoeterwoude, Holland, so you can imagine how that works out. Anyway, as he was riding his bike home he started thinking. I never expected from Jasper to be one that would think of the best things while he is intoxicated, but still. He finished quite well in PT Atlanta and was nearing the 20 pro point limit. He thought he would be fine after PT Philly and London to reach that, but only now figured out he would miss by one point.

    So he passed the railway station on his way and thought "What if…". It was 6.45 pm as he walked in the station and asked when and if a train would leave to reach Leipzig tonight. It seemed there was and it would leave at 7.45 pm. Now he would not make it home and back, so went for some food and jumped on the train. Know that this is like an 11 hour trip or so…

    He did not have anything with him, only his clothes and a bag, even without any Magic items. Next morning he arrived at 7 am. Now that was not it, because he needed to know where it was in Leipzig. At 7 in the morning he tried to call some friends on their cell, and found Julien Nuijten. Jasper woke him with the call so it took some time before he could get a straight answer from Julien. He got the site address and went to a cab.

    The story does not end here. It was now getting close to 8 am, when the GP would start at 9. You would think the GP site would be easy accessible from the city center. This was kind of different when he asked the first cab driver to bring him to the site. The guy had no clue where this was, so a second cab driver was called. After a long discussion of all available cab drivers they finally agreed where to take Jasper. So he got in and saw that he was being taken on the highway for like 20 minutes at top speed. (there is no speed limit on the highway in Germany) When the cab stopped, Jasper was amazed to find himself on some high-tech looking complex, completely in the middle of nowhere.

    Only after seeing some other people with the familiar look of a Magic player, complete with a large backpack, he knew he was at the site. He arrived at about 8.30 to be exactly on time. I spoke with him in round 9: he still needed a hotel, but had some friends to stay with. Unfortunately he did not make it to day 2 with a 4/3 record, but still had a fun day.


     
  • Saturday, March 26: 7:44 pm - Day 1 Undefeated Decklists




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